The severing of ties with ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) could hurt the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Karnataka Assembly polls. Telugus are the second largest linguistic group in Karnataka, after Kannadigas. TDP workers have been holding meetings and reaching out to Telugu-speaking people in Karnataka and urging them to not vote for the BJP. Veera Kanakamedala, who runs the TDP forum page on Facebook, and Brahmaiah, are two leaders in contact with Congress Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Gowda and also Janata Dal (Secular) leaders. They have been asking Telugus to vote for the party that can ensure the defeat of the BJP in their respective constituencies, since the central government had “betrayed” Andhra Pradesh by not granting it special category status.
Down the toilet
A set of figures released by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has kicked up a political storm. It showed the amount spent on toilet construction in Karnataka jumped six-fold to ~21 billion during the first four years of the National Democratic Alliance government compared to ~3.5 billion spent in the first four years of the preceding United Progressive Alliance government. The number of toilets constructed, however, rose only 70 per cent. Many started slamming the central government saying that the BJP had scored a disastrous self-goal and said it was a clear case of corruption. BJP clarified that the amount cited earlier was given by the central government to the state. And the Karnataka chief minister was to be blamed for not building enough toilets despite the handout.
The Ganna Vikas Evam Chini Udyog Vibhag, which operates under the aegis of the Uttar Pradesh government, has a “Chinese” connection. The website, in Hindi, prompts a visitor to translate the content into English. The converted site lists important institutions of the sector and one of these happens to be the ‘Chinese Establishment’. When you click on the link, you land up on a page that offers information about the state’s sugar department and also lists the duties of the ‘Chinese Commissioner’. The 'Chinese', we are inclined to assume, is a literal translation of the word 'chini', or sugar in English.